Nobody likes potholes; they’re not only inconvenient, but they can seriously damage vehicles and injure vehicle occupants. Unfortunately, potholes are often not seen until it’s too late, catching people off guard, resulting in costly repairs. The city of Wichita reportedly repairs around 50,000 potholes each year, usually following major storms.
The damage from hitting a pothole can range from minor tire damage to completely destroying a tire and damaging the vehicle’s struts. After hitting a pothole, some vehicles only need an alignment, but some unlucky people have to shell out $1,000 or more for repairs.
To the average driver, potholes are a nuisance, but for real estate agents, potholes can cost them a deal.
Potholes can significantly lower the value of a property
Real estate agents work hard to sell their clients’ homes at the highest possible price to maximize their commission. Potholes can significantly lower a property’s value, especially if those potholes are located on privately maintained roads.
When potholes exist on city-maintained roads, they can still lower property values. However, sometimes people will overlook the issue knowing the city is responsible for road maintenance. On privately owned roads, though, homeowners are responsible for maintaining the roads and filling all potholes. No matter how simple it seems, filling potholes isn’t cheap.
Potholes can deter buyers
On privately maintained roads, there are usually one or two people who handle repairing the roads and they collect whatever funds the other homeowners are willing to contribute. This seems to work in most communities, but sometimes there are communities where nobody has the money or equipment to do the job. It’s not uncommon for potholes to go years without repair in these areas, growing in size as time goes by.
The cost of roadwork when others don’t chip in is a deterrent for some potential buyers.
Multiple, deep potholes in an area with numerous homeowners might be a sign that a prospective buyer will be on their own to foot the bill for road repairs. Whether the potholes decrease the actual value of a home doesn’t matter if the homeowner will need to foot the entire bill for all road repairs.
Property owners can avoid excessive potholes by hardscaping certain areas around their property, but only in the areas they actually own. Hardscaping works great to prevent potholes in private driveways and walkways. However, real estate agents might need to wait a little longer to sell a property prone to potholes since the buyer needs to have a budget for fixing the road on a regular basis.
Potholes are expensive for homeowners to fill
On the outside, fixing a pothole looks like a quick job, but there’s more involved than you might think. Asphalt roads must be filled and sealed with hot asphalt, but gravel roads can be repaired with rock or recycled/crushed asphalt.
For privately maintained roads, homeowners need to get the material delivered and then use a tractor to smooth out the road. Sometimes a steam roller is required if the material needs to be packed several inches into the ground to protect areas prone to flooding.
In many areas, crushed asphalt is cheaper than gravel, but it can cost thousands of dollars to fix a quarter-mile stretch of road.
Potholes are inconvenient to fix
For homeowners who don’t have a big budget and lack the equipment to do a professional job, it’s not hard to fix potholes – it’s just inconvenient. Home improvement stores sell 50 to 80-pound bags of crushed rock for a little over $5, but fixing a pothole is a little more challenging without a tractor or steamroller to pack the gravel down into the hole.
Homeowners can dump gravel or dirt into each pothole, pack them down, smooth them out with a shovel, and then drive a car over the top to make sure it’s packed down enough. This is a quick way to fix a pothole, but it requires some elbow grease.
Real estate agents – give your clients a heads up
If you’re a real estate agent, let your clients know if their property’s driveway or private road might be a deterrent to potential buyers. You’ll help the property sell faster and you’ll probably increase your commission as well.